Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Air defense exercise over central New York set for Wednesday, February 27

By Observer-Dispatch 
Posted Feb 26, 2013 @ 05:10 PM 
Last update Feb 26, 2013 @ 05:30 PM  

The Eastern Air Defense Sector and the Continental North American Aerospace Defense Command Region will conduct an air defense exercise over central New York Wednesday, February 27,  from 9 a.m. to noon.

The exercise is coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration and will take place over a large area east of Rochester, north of Binghamton and south of Burlington, Vt.

The exercise will evaluate the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing. It is a “no-notice” exercise and tests the fighter wing’s ability respond rapidly and appropriately to airborne threats. Aircraft involved in the exercise include two F-15 fighter jets, an Air Force C-21 passenger jet and a Cessna 182 aircraft flown by the Civil Air Patrol. No aircraft will be visible from the ground during the exercise.

If weather forces cancellation on Wednesday, the exercise will take place in the same area on Thursday.

The Aerospace Defense Command Region, EADS and the Western Air Defense Sector at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, are responsible for the air defense of the continental United States. The Aerospace Defense Command Region and the sectors conduct these types of exercises on a routine basis as part of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Operation Noble Eagle, which was initiated after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


Source:   http://www.uticaod.com

Louisiana Traveler - Max Air Helicopters

Posted: Feb 26, 2013 3:48 PM EST
Updated: Feb 26, 2013 7:23 PM EST 
By John Bridges

One look at Max Air Helicopters' promotional HD video and you're hooked. Not only on taking a helicopter ride, but also checking out parts of Southwest Louisiana you can't see from the ground. Based out of Chennault International Airport, Max Air LLC is owned by longtime pilot Maxwell Trost.

"We offer everything that can be done with a helicopter operation," said Trost. "We are a full service air taxi. We also offer tours of the general area."

And those tours of quickly catching on.  You may have seen Max's helicopter at area events like Mardi Gras and Contraband Days. His chopper seats the pilot and three passengers.

One of the great things about the Max Air tour here in SWLA is you get to see things you normally don't get to see from the ground. On a recent tour, I kept my smartphone busy.

A typical air tour takes you along the lake and north to the salt water barrier and marshland east of Westlake. A trek north of Sulphur finds you arriving at the Castle off North Crocker. In fact, Max says he lands here all the time, especially for short romantic stops with couples.

Later, we cross the industrial area, which includes views of the Isle of Capri, I-10 bridge and L'Auberge Casino Resort. A quick jaunt over the Civic Center area and we're arriving back at Chennault. It's really a great little tour. Max Air also provides video production and other services for industry. They even use this remote controlled helicopter with a built-in HD camera. It's definitely a tour worth taking.

For more information, go to: http://www.maxairhelicopters.com

Story and Photos:   http://www.kplctv.com

Boeing’s Starliner Flight Was Postponed. What Happens Now?

When Boeing Co. will attempt to launch its Starliner space taxi to the International Space Station remains unclear after its engineers detected a problem with valves on a propulsion system on the vehicle.

The launch of the aerospace giant’s Starliner capsule was scheduled for Aug. 3, but officials decided to postpone the flight because some valves on a Starliner propulsion system weren’t properly configured, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Officials had said they could try to fly the vehicle to the space station on Aug. 4, but later nixed that possibility, saying engineers needed time to assess what happened with the valves.

Boeing has faced problems with the Starliner before. A botched effort in late 2019 dented the record of a company that has been at the forefront of U.S. space exploration, including the Apollo missions to the moon. The Starliner is the latest of an array of new rockets, capsules and other vehicles aimed at furthering U.S. ambitions in a new space race to the moon, Mars and beyond.

The Starliner would give the U.S. more options to reach low earth orbit and the space station. U.S. astronauts had to hitch rides on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to get there following the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011. NASA opted to outsource a replacement through its Commercial Crew Program and picked Boeing and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the formal name for Elon Musk’s SpaceX, to provide space taxi services.

The CST-100 Starliner was slated to deliver more than 400 pounds of NASA cargo and crew supplies, and bring back material including oxygen tanks. A mannequin named Rosie the Rocketeer was also expected to be on board.

How can I watch the Starliner launch?

NASA plans to live stream the Starliner launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida when the flight occurs.

NASA has said the Starliner mission is expected to run five to 10 days in all. The Starliner is expected to return to Earth at a facility in the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Wasn’t this supposed to launch on Tuesday?

The flight was postponed because of an issue with some valves in a vehicle’s propulsion system, the company and NASA said.

Boeing said its engineers conducting prelaunch checks of the Starliner initially detected the issue after electrical storms on Monday near the launch site.

Officials had scheduled the flight to begin July 30 but postponed it from that date after a Russian space vehicle mistakenly fired its thrusters while attached to the International Space Station the day earlier, forcing the facility into a tilt.

What went wrong with the 2019 mission?

The first uncrewed Starliner test flight in December 2019 failed to reach the space station. A software error left the spacecraft in the wrong orbit, ground controllers had difficulty communicating with the vehicle and another computer problem affected its thrusters. The spacecraft returned safely to Earth after two days, though NASA said it could have made it to the space station if astronauts were on board.

Boeing and NASA have completed multiple reviews and tests ahead of the latest launch. Working under a fixed-price contract with NASA, Boeing took a $410 million charge to pay for the second test mission, and will ferry the cargo to and from the space station for free.

When will the Starliner carry astronauts?

Before the Starliner can carry astronauts to the space station, Boeing needs to complete the test flight without crew members on board. A second Starliner capsule has been meant to carry astronauts to the space station as early as November, if the testing goes as planned and NASA certifies the Starliner. The reusable spacecraft is designed to fly 10 times and can be refurbished in six months.

How does it compare to the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule?

The Starliner can carry seven astronauts or a mix of crew and cargo. It is launched on the same Atlas V series rockets developed by the joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. that are used for military satellites. The spacecraft is autonomous, though there are backup controls that allow it to be piloted. It is designed for land-based returns, descending under parachutes, with air bags to cushion the landing.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon has carried cargo to the space station since 2012 and took its first astronauts to the space station in May 2020. The fully autonomous Dragon is launched on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and has seven seats, though like the Starliner only four are used for NASA missions. It is designed to land under parachutes in the ocean.

What else does Boeing do in space?

Boeing is one of the world’s largest space companies, with analysts estimating annual revenue of around $6 billion from the business last year. It has already helped refurbish the International Space Station this year and builds a range of satellites.

It is a pivotal year for Boeing’s space ambitions. Beyond the Starliner, it makes the main body of the Space Launch System, an enormous deep space rocket that will carry astronauts. After years of delay, a ground test in March paved the way for a potential launch by the end of the year as part of NASA’s Artemis moon exploration program.

Columbus Regional Airport Authority launches 'branding' campaign

By Steve Wartenberg,  The Columbus Dispatch 
Tuesday February 26, 2013 6:25 PM

Many local travelers don’t know much about the Columbus Regional Airport Authority or what exactly it has authority over.

A study found “people were happy with the service, but they didn’t understand what we do and what our role is,” said David Whitaker, the authority’s vice president of business development.

The authority is out to change this and has announced a campaign featuring a new series of logos to better inform the public about what it does and the economic impact it has on the central Ohio region.

“We connect Columbus with the world,” Whitaker said, summing up the message the authority plans to deliver.

The authority oversees operations at Port Columbus, the area’s main passenger airport; Rickenbacker, the primary freight airport; and Bolton Field, the general aviation hub.

An economic-impact study has shown that the authority’s three airports and surrounding businesses, such as NetJets at Port Columbus and the intermodal rail and truck transportation hub at Rickenbacker, supported 54,000 jobs and pumped $6.6 billion into the local economy in 2011.

“We add value to the region,” Whitaker said. “And it’s important to connect that to the organization that does it.”

Highlighting its role in economic development also is a goal of the authority’s campaign.

“If a company wants to bring their operations here or expand what they already have here, it’s important that they know the airport functions well,” said Susan Tomasky, vice chairwoman of the authority’s board.

“And it’s important they understand how we are integrated with all the wonderful things happening in the arena of economic development.”

The most visible component of the branding effort will be the new logos — one for the authority itself and similar versions for each airport.

The new logo for the authority features three swirling bands that form a circle meant to represent the earth and reinforce the concept that the authority’s airports connect Columbus with the world.

Source:  http://www.dispatch.com

How safe is hot air ballooning?

Editor's note: CNN spoke to commercial ballooning consultant Phil Dunnington -- a commercial balloon pilot whose projects have included providing advice on the infrastructure and safety aspects of tourist ballooning in Egypt. More information was provided by Jean-Claude Weber, the president of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale's Ballooning Commission, which deals with non-commercial ballooning. 

Around the world, hot air balloons are used to give tourists a spectacular view of the landscape, as well as for sport and private recreation. But, with 19 people dead after a hot air balloon crash in Luxor, Egypt, just how safe are they?

What are the basics of ballooning?

Essentially a balloon is a nylon bag -- known as an envelope -- filled with hot air, which is created by burning liquid propane in a steel burner. More heat makes the balloon rise, less makes it descend. Balloons fly in the direction of the wind. Dunnington described hot air ballooning as "man's first form of flight." The French invented it in 1793 and since then it has been developed for sport and tourist rides. Balloons have also been used by the military.

How safe is hot air ballooning?

Until Tuesday's incident, the deadliest accident in recent memory happened in 1989, when 13 people were killed as two hot air balloons collided in Australia.

Weber said while every activity had its risks, ballooning was "one of the safest means of flying in existence."

"You are floating in the air like a feather. You put some heat into the envelope to get you up and then you float with the atmosphere, there is no speed involved."

If the fuel ran out, a balloon could still be landed safely, he said. "It's not like an airline crash. It's like a huge parachute. If you do it [descend] wisely and if you do it in a controlled way you can come down with cold air in the envelope but it's still inflated -- it's still a big balloon."

Weber added that a fire on board was the most dangerous situation for a pilot because the only way to escape it was by jumping overboard. "If passengers are jumping the balloon is getting lighter -- it's climbing again. It's getting in a more dangerous situation because the higher you go the more dangerous it is to jump out."

Dunnington also said fire resulting from contact with power lines was probably the biggest risk for hot air balloonists. "If you've hit a power line there isn't a fire extinguisher made that can put that out."

He pointed to a 2012 accident in New Zealand, in which 11 people died.

"New Zealand was a wire contact and it had fatal results and that's certainly the balloonist's biggest worry," he said.

So what was the cause of the crash in Egypt?

State-run EgyNews reported that a gas explosion caused the crash but Egypt's government said a committee from the Ministry of Civil Aviation would investigate.

The government said the balloon was "flying at 300m [about 900feet] when it caught fire and exploded."

How safe is hot air ballooning in Egypt?

The last hot air balloon accident in Luxor happened in 2009, when 16 foreign tourists were injured after a balloon struck a cell phone transmission tower.

 Dunnington described Egypt as having "a rather chequered history" when it came to ballooning. The country had probably had more accidents than some others, he said, but on the other hand probably made more flights.

"They've probably had half a dozen serious accidents in the last five years. If that had happened in the UK there would be a big hoo-ha about it."

But Weber said Egyptian operators carried a lot of passengers and flew on a daily basis and the Luxor crash was "quite exceptional."

How is hot air ballooning regulated?

There is no body dealing with air ballooning regulations globally. Around the world, 191 countries are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations body that issues advice on aviation standards and regulations.

But Dunnington said there was no legal obligation to comply with the ICAO's Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS).

The ICAO's recommendations were "sufficiently broad to always need local interpretation," he said, adding that this was where "things get difficult."

"The regulations are pretty similar in every country. The question in each different country is to what extent are those regulations enforced," Dunnington said. "The Egyptian civil aviation authority is in ultimate charge of what goes on in anything to do with civil aviation in Egypt."

Dunnington said in Britain, for example, pilots had to sit regular medical tests and assessments and balloons were checked after every 100 hours of flight. He said Egypt had a similar system but that it was "somewhat less independently supervised."

How have Egyptian authorities reacted to the crash?

Egypt's Civil Aviation Agency has stopped all ballooning in the country since Tuesday's accident. But Dunnington said a blanket ban didn't solve the problem.

"That kind of knee jerk reaction is symptomatic of the way such problems are approached," he said. In Britain, he added, the authorities would look at a particular set of circumstances rather than shutting down everything.

Privatization of Puerto Rico Airport Approved

Updated February 26, 2013, 6:01 p.m. ET

The Wall Street Journal

U.S. regulators said Tuesday they had approved a plan for investors to operate Puerto Rico's main airport for profit, boosting a long-standing federal effort to test the private-sector's appetite for infrastructure development.

The proposed $2.6 billion deal to lease San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to a private consortium is being watched by bankers and industry officials keen to import a business model that is widely used in Europe and Asia.

Airports have been attractive targets for private investors elsewhere because of rising air traffic and the opportunity to boost profits by expanding services such as terminal shopping, while cash-strapped governments are eager to find new funding to upgrade the facilities.

The Federal Aviation Administration launched a pilot airport privatization program 16 years ago, giving the cities and counties that own most commercial airports another funding option.

The plan gained little traction, in part because of broader public opposition to privatization and the availability of cheap municipal bond funding and passenger ticket-tax revenue. But rising government deficits have since spurred efforts to tap alternative sources for transportation and other infrastructure projects.

Only one airport—Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y.—was privatized under the FAA program. The 2000 deal was unwound seven years later when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey bought the airport back from National Express Group PLC, a U.K. transportation company that opted to exit the airport business.

San Juan emerged as the largest airport in the FAA program after the 2009 collapse of efforts by the city of Chicago to lease Midway airport, as the financial crisis drained funding for the planned project.

Chicago has since revived its plans. Last week it said it had received 16 expressions of interest in running Midway under a proposed lease of 40 years or less, shorter than that envisaged under the previous plan.

The approval of the San Juan deal by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood "is a good indicator that this can be done, and done right," said Kathleen Strand, a spokeswoman for Chicago.

Only three of the 10 slots in the FAA pilot program are filled, with San Juan joined by Midway—which occupies the sole berth for a large hub airport—and Airglades Airport, a small facility in Hendry County, Fla.

Others, such as Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, joined the program only to drop out, in part because of public opposition to privatization.

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla had voiced broad reservations about privatization before taking office in January, though previously said he would stand by the San Juan deal negotiated under the administration of his predecessor, Luis Fortuno.

San Juan will be operated by a 50/50 venture between infrastructure-investment company Highstar Capital and Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste SAB de CV, which runs nine airports in Mexico. The partners plan to invest more than $1 billion in the airport, including $615 million up front in a leasehold fee.

In addition, the consortium will pay Puerto Rico's airport authority $2.5 million a year for the first five years, 5% of revenue for the next 25 years and then 10% of revenue for the final 10 years.

Deborah McElroy, an executive vice president at the North America branch of Airports Council International, an airport industry trade group, said interest in the Puerto Rico deal among U.S. airports has been high. But she said it is unclear how many others will explore privatization.

"Ultimately, individual airports will have to determine if it's right for their unique circumstances," she said.

Source:  http://online.wsj.com

Waste Watch Update: Airport Spending - Lake Murray State Park (1F1), Overbrook, Oklahoma (With Video)

ARDMORE, OK-- Situated next to the golf course, the Lake Murray State Park Airport sits empty most of the time.

"It's been over a month since I've seen an airplane land," said Wesley Chaney, who manages the golf course at Lake Murray State Park.

Records from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) show the unattended air strip also sits on about $450,000 from the FAA.  The airport gets $150,000 from the FAA each year.  Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) calls the airport an example of wasteful government spending.  The airport landed the number four spot in Coburn's 2012 Wastebook.

"It's rarely used," said Chaney, "and some of the pilots that do fly in state that it's not in the best shape."

Records from OAC show no FAA money has been spent on improvement projects since 2008 at Lake Murray State Park Airport.  A breakdown of spending at the OAC shows officials spent $5,546 at Lake Murray that year on an electrical project.

OAC records show remaining funds from 2008 were transferred to Duncan Municipal Airport.  Records indicate $144,000 went toward Duncan's new airport terminal building.  FAA funds from 2009 were split between two other airports  OAC's spending breakdown shows $5,153 invested on the Davis Field Taxiway and $144,847 on Ardmore Municipal Airport's drainage system.

 "We're making more prudent, wiser, strategic decisions in our system, and addressing higher priority needs," said Victor Bird, Director of the OAC.

With Ardmore Downtown Executive Airport just six miles from Lake Murray State Park Airport, Bird says the airstrip sees five to ten landings a month during peak season, and sometimes no landings at all during low season.  Bird says it's more important for the OAC to invest FAA funds on airports with more traffic.  OAC records show the airports that received funds allotted to Lake Murray State Park Airport serve major clients that include Halliburton, Michelin, and Dollar General.    

"They're some of the most important airports in our system," Bird explained.

The Oklahoma Department of Tourism has tried to shut down Lake Murray State Park Airport for years, but OAC officials say closing the airport would cost Oklahoma taxpayers $184,000.  Under FAA guidelines, the airport must stay open for 20 years after the OAC spends money on an improvement project.

"We don't want to pay any money back to Uncle Sam," said Bird.

Bird says Lake Murray State Park Airport is one of 497 up for review by the FAA, if the airport is deemed insignificant to aviation, FAA could cut off funding and OAC officials would close down the airport.  Local pilots, like Tyler Barker say they do not want to see the airport shut down.

"This is one resource that once they're gone, they're no longer," said Barker.

Pilots argue closing the airport at Lake Murray State Park is another sign of general aviation dying out.  Chaney says he will honor any request from the FAA and OAC, but he also wants to see the land at Lake Murray State Park used in a way that will attract more visitors. 

Story and Video:  http://www.okcfox.com

In Oklahoma, tiny airport attracts federal money, but few planes: Lake Murray State Park (1F1), Overbrook, OK

By David A. Fahrenthold, Published: February 25 

ARDMORE, Okla. — Along a country road in southern Oklahoma, there is a place that doesn’t make sense. It is an airport without passengers.

Or, for that matter, planes.

This is Lake Murray State Park Airport, one of the least busy of the nation’s 3,300-plus public airfields. In an entire week here, there might be one landing and one takeoff — often so pilots can use the bathroom. Or none at all. Visiting pilots are warned to watch out for deer on the runway.

So why is it still open? Mostly, because the U.S. government insists on sending it money.

Every year, Oklahoma is allotted $150,000 in federal funding because of this place, the result of a grant program established 13 years ago, in Congress’s golden age of pork. The same amount goes to hundreds of other tiny airfields across the country — including more than 80 like this one, with no paying customers and no planes based at the field.

Lake Murray, as it turns out, is an ATM shaped like an airport.

It’s also an example of the kind of spending — wide-ranging, constituent-pleasing giveaways — that Washington has struggled to swear off in this time of austerity. Once again, for example, Congress voted to continue giving money to local airports last year. And in Oklahoma, state officials voted to keep the airport open and, therefore, be able to take it.

“This is a direct gift from your congressman and senators,” said Victor Bird, director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, which handles the money the government allots for Lake Murray. “Everybody’s going to get something here, and we’re going to take some.”

For advocates of leaner government, the story of Lake Murray’s airport is particularly galling now, as an $85 billion budget cut nears on Friday. The “sequester,” as the cut is known, is what lawmakers call a “dumb cut,” because it doesn’t try to distinguish muscle from fat.

Within the Federal Aviation Administration, for instance, officials say the sequester could result in the closure of air-traffic control towers and long flight delays. But it would not touch the airport program, which has allotted Lake Murray about $1,500 for each of its takeoffs and landings.

Full story and reaction/comments:  http://www.washingtonpost.com

Maryland State Police: First of 10 new medevac helicopters arrive

By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun 
5:15 p.m. EST, February 26, 2013

Years after a multimillion-dollar contract to replace the state's fleet of aged medevac helicopters caused controversy in Annapolis, two newly purchased aircraft arrived Tuesday at the aviation command of the Maryland State Police.

Four more are expected to fly into the police facility at Martin State Airport in Middle River this week, state police said — behind initial schedules for the new fleet's arrival.

The four remaining AW139 helicopters of the 10 purchased by the state for a total of $121.7 million will also arrive soon, said Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman. He did not know exactly when.

Police pilots have already received some training directly from aircraft manufacturer AgustaWestland, Shipley said, but other members of flight crews — including paramedics — will have to begin learning how the aircraft, and all their medical accouterments, function. That other training should begin immediately, Shipley said.

"The flight paramedics have a lot of training to do working in the back with the medical equipment, with the new setup," Shipley said. "They don't expect to be flying actual missions, medevacs or real law-enforcement missions, with these aircraft until late spring or early summer."

The AW139 helicopters, which are capable of transporting two patients, will replace 10 Dauphin model helicopters in the state's fleet that are more than 20 years old and can only transport one patient at a time, police said. The new helicopters also represent a shift from the old since they require a co-pilot, making them more expensive to operate.

Their purchase was initially inspired by a crash of a state police Dauphin helicopter in September 2008, which killed four — including Ashley J. Younger, a teenager — and prompted an examination of Maryland's emergency flight procedures.

Multiple lawsuits were filed, including one the state filed against the federal government blaming traffic controllers for the crash, despite a National Transportation Safety Board finding that the pilot was at fault. Debates erupted in Annapolis between police and legislators over whether to privatize the fleet.

The crash also added fuel to a national debate over whether medevac helicopters are overused, following multiple crash-related deaths of patients who were being transported for injuries not considered life-threatening.

The state eventually decided to move forward with purchasing the new helicopters and keeping their operation under the state police.

In a news release about the new helicopters in October, Gov. Martin O'Malley's office said they contain state-of-the-art technology recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration, including "the latest in avionics and safety equipment" and night-vision and terrain-awareness-warning systems.

The expected time frame for the helicopters' arrival has long been up in the air.

Following the safety debate in Annapolis, the Maryland Board of Public Works approved a $72 million contract with Agusta Aerospace Corp. of Philadelphia in October 2010 for six helicopters, with the option of paying the same price of $11.7 million per helicopter, plus an inflation fee, for as many as six additional aircraft.

At the time, Agusta was the only company among four manufacturers to submit a final bid. Comptroller Peter Franchot, a member of the public works board, called the single bid a "failure of the procurement process" but approved it anyway. At the time, he said he did so to avoid the consequences of rejecting the contract and delaying the aged fleet's replacement.

O'Malley, also a member of the board, said the contract had been thoroughly vetted.

The delivery of the new aircraft was estimated to take 18 months, which would have put the aircraft's' arrival in April of last year.

Shipley, the state police spokesman, said police and AgustaWestland were awaiting inspections of the helicopters by the FAA, in part for a review of a newly designed searchlight on the outside of the aircraft.

"We didn't know when that would occur," Shipley said.

Now, all 10 of the helicopters slated for the state police have passed inspection, Shipley said. Officials with AgustaWestland were completing last-minute checks on each this week, accounting for their staggered arrival.

Police divide the state into seven distinct helicopter service areas, Shipley said, and will begin using the helicopters in one area at a time.

Story and Reaction/Comments:  http://www.baltimoresun.com

Lehigh Valley International (KABE), Pennsylvania: Allentown's airport gains a director, loses a consultant

By hiring Executive Director Charles Everett, LVIA signals an end to its deal with AvPorts Management.

By Matt Assad, Of The Morning Call

2:59 p.m. EST, February 26, 2013

Like an aircraft struggling to get off the ground, the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Tuesday turned the controls over to its pilot Charles Everett, but will likely jettison its management company AvPorts.

The authority board unanimously approved bringing Everett, its consultant executive director the past 14 months, on staff to run the airport.

While the move puts the foundering airport in the hands of Everett, it almost certainly signals the end to the airport's contract with AvPorts Management, the Virginia company brought in to steer the airport in a new direction.

Perhaps more important, while Everett will continue getting his $142,000 annual salary, the airport will be able to shed the $336,000 a year it is paying AvPorts, once its contract expires at the end of the year.

Everett has served as executive director since last year, but as an AvPorts employee brought in by the company to lead the airport into an uncertain future.

"He has faith in where we are going and we like his work," Authority Board chairman Tony Iannelli said. "We appear to be in the early stages of a beautiful marriage."

Unlike his predecessor, George Doughty, who had a three-year contract that some board members questioned, Everett will be an at-will employee of the authority who can be released at any time. Passenger traffic is down and airport finances are unstable, but Everett said he welcomed a chance to lead the airport long-term.

"I like this community and I like that the board has confidence in me," said Everett, who moved to the Lehigh Valley from the Washington D.C. area. "I think this airport has a bright future."

Source:  http://www.mcall.com

Sussex County (KGED), Georgetown, Delaware: Arena's restaurant coming to airport

February 26, 2013 4:53 PM
Written by James Fisher, The News Journal

GEORGETOWN — Arena’s, a well-known restaurant group in coastal Sussex County, got permission today to set up shop in the county-owned airport, replacing a restaurant tenant who’s giving up on the location.

The County Council approved a lease agreement with Deli Days LLC, the company that operates four Arena’s restaurants in Rehoboth Beach, Lewes and Long Neck, letting them rent space in the airport for as much as $15,000 a year, depending on sales volume.

The restaurant area of the airport, which overlooks parked planes and a runway, is being vacated in March by operator Paul Buchness, who told the county he isn’t making enough money there to stay open.

Hal Godwin, the deputy county administrator, said Arena’s at the Airport would be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and would open Saturday and Sunday mornings for brunch as well. They are experienced restaurateurs, he said.

“They currently gross over $5 million in sales in these four restaurants,” Godwin said. “They have a broad customer base. And one of the major towns they’re not currently serving is Georgetown.”

In their proposal to the county, restaurant partners Matthew Evans and Paul Kuhns said they expect to do a robust takeout business in addition to sit-down dining.

“Due to the close proximity of downtown Georgetown, we would anticipate substantial demand for delivery and carryout,” they wrote. “However, the airport restaurant operation would take priority.”

Source:   http://www.delawareonline.com

Range Regional (KHIB), Hibbing, Minnesota: Airport in need of $14.5 million in improvements

ST. PAUL — The Range Regional Airport needs millions of dollars to renovate the facility built in the late-1970s.

If state legislation is approved, the airport could get $5 million in bonds to renovate and expand the terminal, which would require more than 50 construction jobs.

Coupled with federal funds already secured and more hoped for, the financial package for three improvement projects would tally $14.5 million.

The airport cannot meet the current Transit Security Association’s regulations that changed after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. It also has major overcrowding issues.

The airport has one holding room for security with no bathrooms after the checkpoint. This puts stress on agents who have to process 100 to 140 people within 30 minutes, said Shaun Germolus, director of Range Regional Airport.

The airport services two daily flights arriving from and leaving for Minneapolis. There is also one weekend flight that usually comes from Nevada. The airport has seen a huge increase in the average number of passengers a year from roughly 8,500 in 2009 to more than 12,000 in the last three years. Germolus says he expects passenger load to bump up to 15,000 in the near future.

Last session, Range delegates tried to push a similar bonding bill for the airport in Hibbing. But because it was a bonding year, the airport was competing with a lot of other city projects like community centers and public works, Germolus said.

The airport would need both federal funding and state funding to fully refurbish the terminal, a concrete ramp and renovations to the runways and security equipment.

Germolus is asking the Federal Aviation Administration for $3 million to $4 million in discretionary funds. The FAA currently gives the airport $1 million per year because it boards more than 10,000 passengers.

Construction of the building on its own is estimated at $5.5 million. Additional projects, including $3 million to reconstruct a concrete ramp and $6 million to improve the taxi and apron of the runway are also in the works if the airport can raise the funds. Germolus also hopes to update the heating and ventilation system to make the building more energy efficient.

Chief House author Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, says the airport renovation is something that is really needed.

If a bonding bill goes through this year, chief Senate author Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, said he is confident the airport bill will be approved.

The design is currently 30 percent complete, completion, said Darren Christopher of Reynolds, Smith & Hills Inc., the Jacksonville, Fla.-based firm working on the Hibbing airport’s renovation.

Since TSA took over a portion of the building after 9/11, there is also a need for a luggage carousel. Passengers arriving to the airport currently have to pick up their bags at the curb.

Germolus said those conditions are less than ideal for his passengers coming from the dessert of Nevada to Hibbing in the dead of winter, where more than 116 bags can be unloaded onto the sidewalk.

He hopes to double the size of the existing terminal and modernize the rest of the airport so that it looks seamless.

Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board Commissioner Tony Sertich said the agency would contribute to funding, though the amount has not been determined.

The IRRRB’s most recent contribution to the airport was $400,000 to renovate an aircraft hanger. Since 1982, the IRRRB has provided $4,144,484 in grant funding for the facility, said IRRRB Communications Coordinator Sheryl Kochevar.

If the airport bill fails this year, Germolus said he’ll have to wait until next session, which is a bonding year.

The Range Regional Airport isn’t the only airport trying to keep up with the new regulations. The Duluth airport received roughly $16 million from the Legislature for a $78 million project, which was completed on Jan. 14, to update its airport terminal.

Source:  http://www.grandrapidsmn.com

Lockheed Martin lays off 68 Fort Worth employees

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 1:38 PM
Updated today at 2:19 PM

Lockheed Martin laid off 68 employees at its Fort Worth location on Monday, the majority of whom worked in aircraft production.

In a statement, spokesman Ken Ross said the layoffs were "to adjust staffing based on program and business needs." The decision was not affected by a possible government sequestration –– the deadline to avoid across-the-board cuts to government agencies is Friday.

According to union officials, 36 of the layoffs are material analysts, 18 are mechanics and 10 are aircraft assembly employees. They didn't know specifics for the other four who were given pink slips.

Source:   http://www.wfaa.com

Rutland - Southern Vermont Regional (KRUT), Vermont: North Clarendon airport seeking new management

By Brent Curtis
February 26,2013

State transportation officials are searching for a new manager to lead what they say is the fastest growing state airport in Vermont — the Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport.

Dave Carman, who managed the airport for three and a half years, resigned from the post last week leaving the second busiest airport in the state in terms of air traffic in the hands of an interim manager, according to Guy Rouelle, aviation program manager for the state Agency of Transportation. Rouelle declined to say why Carman resigned.

Advertisements for the job were posted last week, but Rouelle said the state isn’t rushing to fill the position.

“I’m going to take my time,” he said. “I want to choose the right person.”

While he’s responsible for the maintenance and growth of all 10 state airports, Rouelle said improving the regional airport in Rutland is one of his biggest priorities.

Carman, who couldn’t be reached for comment Monday, was praised by both Rouelle and the head of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, for his steering of the airport.

“He was great, absolutely,” said Tom Donahue, executive vice president and CEO of the chamber. “He shepherded through a number of projects for us.”

Among the bigger projects he oversaw was the installation of a new airfield lighting and instrument guided landing system, Donahue said.

Those improvements made landing and take-off times more reliable and thus improved the number of flights coming and going to the airport which receives both freight and passenger flights.

As he prepares to interview applicants for the manager’s position, Rouelle said he will be looking for a candidate who can help the airport take its next steps forward.

In the 8,000 to 8,500 embarkations per year category, the RSVR airport far surpasses commuter flights at other state airports but receives the same $210,000 in federal funding each year.

That number is presently augmented by more than $15 million in state funds to pay for safety upgrades and other projects at the North Clarendon airfield.

Looking ahead, Rouelle said the airport could grow faster and at less expense to the state if it could reach 10,000 embarkations a year.

At that level, federal funding jumps to $1 million annually.

“I feel strongly that we could be close to 10,000 enplanements by the end of the calendar year,” Rouelle said.

Whoever takes over the manager’s position at the airport will also be responsible for overseeing $12.7 million in runway safety improvements planned during the next two years to comply with a Federal Aviation Administration mandate.

The state administrator said plans have also been made to install a 48 kilowatt solar array at the field that would reduce the airport’s $24,000 electric bill by about 80 percent.

That innovation is part of a movement toward sustainability. Roulle said part of the new manager’s job will be to bring revenues and expenses at the airport in line by cutting costs and by increasing fuel sales, signing new leases and expanding the aircraft maintenance facility.

The state also plans to look at redesigning and relocating the terminal at the airport where commuters with Cape Air and chartered craft check in.

“I want someone with a great deal of experience and a visionary who can further develop the airport as an economic driver,” Roulle said.

“I’m very excited. It’s conceivable that the airport in Rutland could really take off. It’s one of my biggest missions,” he said.

Source:   http://www.rutlandherald.com

Rutland - Southern Vermont Regional Airport (KRUT), Vermont: Manager resigns

Posted: Feb 26, 2013 5:42 AM EST 
Updated: Feb 26, 2013 10:23 AM EST 

By WCAX News

RUTLAND, Vt. - Just a few weeks after the state announced major improvement plans for the Southern Vermont Regional Airport, Airport Manager Dave Carman has resigned.

Carman served as manager for 3.5 years, and the Rutland Herald reports he handed in his notice last week.

State officials say an interim manager will take over while they look for a new manager.

Airport officials are working on a plan to increase traffic to 10,000 flights a year, which would more than quadruple their annual federal funding dollars.

The Southern Vermont Regional Airport is the second busiest airport in the state

Story and Reaction/Comments:  http://www.wcax.com

Job Seekers Find Opportunity To Learn About Aviation

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 3:30 am 
By Ashleigh Ruhl
There’s a lot more to aviation than what the public sees when they make their way through the airport. There are a lot of people doing jobs behind the scenes, according to Long Beach Airport Director Mario Rodriguez.

That’s why Long Beach Airport is playing host to the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Business Aviation Regional Forum on Thursday, Feb. 28. Also, there will be a special panel discussion from aviation professionals preceding the event on Wednesday, Feb. 27 done in collaboration with the Southern California Aviation Association (SCAA). All attendees at Wednesday’s panel discussion will receive complimentary passes to Thursday’s event. 

“Consider this as a very sophisticated career day,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know that people are really 100% informed about how many actual careers there are in aviation… How many of us have had an opportunity to sit in the cockpit of an airliner or own a private jet and need to have the engine overhauled?”

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, who is expected to attend the forum, issued the following statement: “The future is bright for young, hard-working professionals who are thinking about a career in aviation. Having the opportunity in Long Beach to meet those working professionals and to find out how to get trained in the field is a tremendous advantage for those who can attend.”

Rodriguez said there are a lot of jobs in aviation — Long Beach Airport supports 18,000 jobs in the region. Besides pilots, there are jobs for people interested in working as flight attendants, air traffic controllers, maintenance, accounting, design and more. Also, there are jobs working for airlines as well as private jet companies and general aviation operations.

“The pilot has the sexy job,” Rodriguez said. “But there are other jobs that pay really well — hopefully people will come to this event if they are thinking about a different career field. Aviation is still very romantic. They write poetry and songs about flying, and there’s still a mystique to working in the industry. It is an interesting field and it changes all the time, and there are lots of different jobs — it is endless.”

Wednesday’s panel discussion will include a mix of professionals from different areas of expertise in the industry. The panel takes place from 5 to 6 p.m. at Airflite at 3250 Airflite Way. Register online at http://scaa.memberlodge.com/events.

Thursday’s Business Aviation Regional Forum is a learning and peer-networking event from 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. featuring more than 100 companies. Nearly 2,000 attendees are expected. Tickets are $60 in advance or $75 at the door (discounts are available to NBAA members, and the event is free for those who attend the Wednesday panel). Register at www.nbaa.org/events/forums/

Source:  http://www.gazettes.com

Resolution Urges Federal Aviation Administration to Compare Woodbine Site for St. Marys Airport (4J6), Georgia

Walter Jones
Morris News Service

February 26, 2013 — ATLANTA - A resolution pending in the Georgia Senate asks the Federal Aviation Administration to stall its consideration of one site for relocating the St. Marys airport until it evaluates an additional site the could accommodate a spaceport as well.

Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, introduced Senate Resolution 269 Thursday after he received a written request from the St. Marys City Council.

Relocating the airport has been under discussion since heightened security concerns following the terrorists attacks of 2001 because it is so close to the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base just 2 miles away. Consultants evaluating multiple sites in 2005 recommended a parcel near Woodbine, known as Site One, on 400 acres to be donated by the Sea Island Co.

Ligon's resolution calls for consideration of a site at Harriet's Bluff Road in Camden County where Union Carbide once had a plant. The new site would be well suited to a commercial spaceport as well as a commercial and general-aviation airport.

"It's probably one of the best spots that would not be over population centers," he said.

Commercial space flight is a growing industry, and some observers believe passenger rockets and satellite launches will become common and lucrative.

"There is a lot of excitement at the possibility of having a spaceport in Camden County because of the high-paying jobs and support businesses," Ligon said.

Environmental groups have long argued that Site One was undesirable because it would require filling in 73 acres of wetlands and impact another 155.

Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, said he received a copy of the city's request and is aware of the issue, but he isn't ready to commit to Ligon's resolution until the two discuss it.

Spencer said his concern is financial. He isn't willing to support anything that would add to the financial challenges of local taxpayers who are already confronted with major concerns.

Source:  http://www.southernpoliticalreport.com

Trenton Mercer Airport (KTTN), Trenton, New Jersey: May divert flights if federal budget sequester shutters control tower

By Jenna Pizzi/The Times of Trenton
on February 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM, updated February 26, 2013 at 7:01 AM

EWING — Executives at Frontier Airlines, the only commercial airline that operates out of Trenton-Mercer Airport, said passengers could see more flights diverted to other airports and a flurry of other inconveniences if $600 million in federal budget cuts goes into effect as planned on Friday.

“It makes it more likely that the flight would have to divert and make it less reliable,” senior vice president Daniel Shurz said yesterday.

The across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester would force the Federal Aviation Administration to furlough workers, cutting midnight shifts at 60 air control towers nationwide and closing 100 towers at smaller airports, officials said.

Trenton-Mercer Airport is on a list of 200 airports with fewer than 150,000 flight operations or 10,000 commercial operations a year, from which the FAA would choose as it cut shifts.

Mercer County director of transportation Aaron Watson said an FAA-operated control tower is not required for planes to take off and land at an airport, but many pilots prefer to have a tower.

County Executive Brian Hughes, Frontier executives, Watson, Shurz and other officials met with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno yesterday afternoon at the airport to discuss the effects of the sequester.

“We have a very real possibility of the closure of the tower,” Hughes said.

Guadagno declined to speak to the press, but Hughes said after the meeting that she said Congress could resolve the federal budget impasse quickly.

“The lieutenant governor was very clear that she felt that we could reach a compromise,” he said. “I think that they might come up with something. I think the majority of (New Jersey’s) delegation will be able to reach a deal. How it goes across the county — I wouldn’t care to take a guess at that.”

Shurz said medium-sized and large airports use air traffic control towers to coordinate takeoffs and landings, but at Trenton-Mercer pilots tend to communicate with the tower to learn about the conditions they can expect when they land.

The staffing uncertainty may mean that Frontier will have to divert more flights to other airports, especially if the weather is bad and pilots would prefer not to land without assistance from the tower, he said.

“You can live without it but you don’t want to,” said Shurz. “This is not a good situation.”

The tower is usually manned by a seven-person staff from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Shurz said Frontier has no plans to pull flights from Trenton-Mercer, at least in the short term.

“We intend to operate as planned,” he said. “We have a flight schedule planned beyond Friday and passengers.”

Source:    http://www.nj.com

Piper Selects Garmin(R) G1000(R) Integrated Flight Deck for Seneca V

OLATHE, Kan., Feb 26, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced that Piper Aircraft has selected the G1000 all-glass, integrated flight deck for its twin-class Seneca V model, introduced today at the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace and Defence Exposition.

"We have a strong, long-standing partnership with Piper Aircraft, and we are honored by the confidence they continue to show in Garmin avionics," said Carl Wolf, Garmin's vice president of aviation sales and marketing. "With the G1000-equipped Seneca V, all new-production Piper M-Class and Twin-Class aircraft will now feature a Garmin integrated flight deck, and we look forward to continuing to serve Piper owners and operators with best-in-class cockpit solutions."

The G1000 integrates all primary flight information, navigation data, communications, terrain awareness, traffic, weather, and engine data on three 10.4-inch, high-resolution displays. The G1000's reliable Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) provides accurate, digital output and referencing of the aircraft's attitude, rate, and acceleration data. The G1000 also incorporates a large moving map, and supports a wide array of safety enhancing features, including Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT(TM)), Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS), datalink weather, Garmin's traffic awareness and collision avoidance systems, and more.

Additional information about the G1000 is available at garmin.com.

Garmin's aviation business segment is a leading provider of solutions to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), aftermarket, military and government customers. Garmin's portfolio includes navigation, communication, flight control, hazard avoidance, surveillance, and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability, and value.

About Garmin International Inc.

Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. , the global leader in satellite navigation. Since 1989, this group of companies has designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications - most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin's products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, marine, aviation, and OEM applications. A component of the S&P 500, Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit Garmin's virtual pressroom at www.garmin.com/pressroom or contact the Media Relations department at 913-397-8200. Garmin and G1000 are registered trademarks of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.

All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

About Piper Aircraft

Piper Aircraft Inc. is headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla. The company offers aviators throughout the world efficient and reliable single-engine and twin-engine aircraft. The single-engine M-Class series - the Meridian, Mirage and Matrix - offer businesses and individuals elegant performance and value. The Twin Class Seneca V and Seminole balance proven performance, efficiency and simplicity in twin-engine aircraft. The Trainer Class Archer TX, Arrow, Seminole and Seneca V aircraft form the most complete technically-advanced line of pilot training aircraft in the world. All Piper airplanes feature advanced Garmin avionics in the cockpit. Piper is a member of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Notice on Forward-Looking Statements:

This release includes forward-looking statements regarding Garmin Ltd. and its business. Such statements are based on management's current expectations. The forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially as a result of known and unknown risk factors and uncertainties affecting Garmin, including, but not limited to, the risk factors listed in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed by Garmin with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission file number 0-31983). A copy of such Form 10-K is available at www.garmin.com/aboutGarmin/invRelations/finReports.html. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Garmin undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

SOURCE: Garmin International Inc. 

Source:  http://www.marketwatch.com

Dubai airport starts 2013 with new passenger record: Dubai International saw more than 5.5 million passengers throughput in January 2012

Published: 13:45 February 26, 2013

Dubai: Dubai International saw more than 5.5 million passengers throughput in January 2012, setting a record for the maximum passengers in a single month, Dubai Airports said in a statement on Tuesday.

The airports body said the boost came on the back of holiday traffic in January, which is also the month Dubai Shopping Festival was held.

Passenger traffic rose 14.6 per cent to 5,559,760 in January 2013, up from 4,852,139 in the same month in 2012, according to Dubai Airport’s traffic report. Whereas, aircraft movements totalled 31,332 in January 2013, climbing 5.6 per cent from the 29,680 movements recorded in January 2012.

“January’s record passenger numbers confirm that the growth trajectory recorded last year has continued into 2013 and Dubai Airports has taken another steady stride towards the 98 million passengers a year we expect to pass through our airport by the end of the decade,” Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, said in a statement.

He added that the opening of Concourse A around the same time allowed the airport to increase capacity to 75 million passengers a year.

Regionally, South America remained the fastest-expanding market in with 23.7 per cent growth, followed by the GCC at 21.8 per cent, Australasia 21.3 per cent, and North America 20.8 per cent.

The Middle East, however, was the only region to record fewer visitors (-6.5 per cent) with traffic impacted by continuing political instability in Iran and Syria, Dubai Airports stated.

It added that air links, meanwhile, continue to be expanded between Dubai and Saudi Arabia with Emirates, flydubai, Nasair and Saudi Arabian Airlines all adding new flights in 2012.

Freight volumes, too, rebounded in January 2013, surging 8.6 per cent to 188,520 tons, up from 173,531 tons recorded in January last year, signalling a return to strong growth in cargo volumes at Dubai International.

Source:  http://gulfnews.com

Canadian heart attack victim saved at Dubai airport: He collapsed on the ground at Concourse A

Published Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Medical staff at Dubai’s airport saved the life of a Canadian passenger who suffered from a sudden heart attack just before boarding a flight to his home country, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The unnamed passenger was on a transit flight to Canada when he collapsed on the ground at Concourse A in the bustling airport to the shock of scores of passengers and airport workers, Albayan Arabic language daily said.

The first aid team and other airport employees rushed the passenger to the treatment room and performed an urgent resuscitation operation before a doctor arrived and used electric shocks on the patient.

“The doctor succeeded in restarting the patient’s heart by using electric shocks, massaging and medicine,” the paper said.

It said the patient was then transferred to hospital in Dubai, where he stayed for treatment for 10 days before he was allowed to travel.

The paper said the doctor, his staff and other airport workers who contributed to saving the Canadian’s life were honored this week by Majid Al Joukar, deputy manager of operations at Dubai’s airport.

Source:   http://www.emirates247.com

D-Jet, 200 workers idled as Diamond restructures

By Randy Richmond, The London Free Press
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:34:49 EST AM

Diamond Aircraft has suspended its D-Jet program and laid off most of its 240 workers while it tries to restructure.

Poor sales of its piston aircraft and high costs of D-Jet development have forced the company to restructure, Peter Maurer, president and chief executive, said in a release Monday night.

“We want to hire back as many employees as possible, as quickly as possible, but the exact number and timing will be determined as we develop our restructuring plans in the coming weeks,” Maurer said in the release.

“Regrettably we need to suspend activity on the D-Jet program, pending the securing of additional funding.”

A small group of workers will continue to fill orders for aircraft and parts, and provide service to customers, Maurer said.

The D-Jet, a five-seat, light, single-engine jet that will sell for about $1.5 million, has had a turbulent ride at Diamond.

In 2008, Diamond got approval to build the D-Jet with a $19.6-million research and development loan from the federal Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative.

It also received $10 million from the Ontario government.

But the next year, hit hard by the recession, Diamond asked for another $35 million from the federal government because of cost overruns.

The federal government rejected the request in 2011, leading to hundreds of layoffs.

But things seemed to be turning around by the end of 2011 when Diamond's London operations were sold to Medrar Financial in Dubai.

Last March, the company reported sales of its piston-powered aircraft were climbing, increasing by 33% over 2011.

Source:   http://www.lfpress.com

Muscat to welcome first DHL cargo flight

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

MUSCAT — Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) and DHL, the international specialists and world’s leading logistics company, announced yesterday the launch of a new cargo flights linking Muscat International Airport with Dubai Airports with the inaugural flight planned for Friday, March 1. The Boeing 757-200 aircraft will operate a weekly schedule into Muscat in collaboration with Oman’s national carrier Oman Air.

Malcolm Macbeth, Middle East & Africa Vice President DHL Aviation said: “DHL’s long-term vision is to increase the number of weekly frequencies coming to Muscat International Airport where cargo and logistics services are viewed as an opportunity for growth and development.

Receiving the first DHL cargo aircraft is a unique opportunity that will enable Muscat International Airport to attract and receive other cargo and logistics aircraft in the future and boost the level of growth and aircraft movements,” added Macbeth.

The Boeing 757-200 aircraft has a cargo capacity of 25 tonnes and links DHL’s Dubai Hub with Oman, allowing greater cargo connectivity into the country.

OAMC announced recently the results of passenger, aircraft and cargo traffic for the year 2012, the passenger numbers handled was 7.5 million passengers with an increase of 16 per cent compared to the year 2011, cargo handled was 113,270 tonnes with an increase of 15 per cent compared with the same period in 2011.

OAMC is working hard to enhance the air cargo facilities at Muscat International Airport in view of the recognized increase in the number of passengers and air cargo movements; OAMC is providing the required facilities to attract more airlines to operate into Muscat. Once the new airport opens OAMC plans to transfer Muscat International Airport to a primary main air gateway to the region. The new airport will have the capacity to handle 260,000 cargo tones annually.

Source:  http://main.omanobserver.om

Hoax fire scare at Muscat International Airport: Police deny any serious incident after a picture goes viral on social media

By Sunil K. Vaidya
Published: 14:04 February 26, 2013

Muscat: A picture of an Etihad Airways aircraft surrounded by fire brigade vehicles at Muscat International Airport, which went viral on social media websites Twitter as well as WhatsApp, created panic but the Royal Oman Police dismissed it as a minor incident of a ‘technical fault’.

The photograph posted on Twitter was by someone using the handle ‘OmaniaAffairs’ who said that an Etihad aircraft had caught fire.

“There was no fire and nothing major happened,” First Lieutenant Mohammad Al Hasami from ROP’s Public Relations Department told Gulf News.

He added that the fire brigade engines were routinely in readiness as there was an alert before landing. “The landing was safe and there were no other problems,” he assured. Later ‘OmaniaAffairs’ also tweeted about the hoax call about the fire.

Etihad officials were not available for comment.

Two weeks ago a Pakistan International Airline flight avoided a major disaster at Muscat International Airport after its landing gear failed and the aircraft landed on its side, damaging a wing as well as the landing gear.

Source:   http://gulfnews.com

Monmouth Executive Airport (KBLM), Belmar/Farmingdale, New Jersey: Salvaged boats up for auction -- From scooters to 30-footers, 'everything but cars'

February 26, 2013 5:39 AM
Written by Susanne Cervenka

 WALL — Boats that superstorm Sandy plopped in yards and recreational vehicles that ended up mangled by the Oct. 29 storm are now being auctioned off at a sliver of what they were once worth.

QCSA Direct, a national auction firm with headquarters in Iowa, in February started online auctions to sell hundreds of Sandy-damaged vehicles now housed at Monmouth Executive Airport.

“It’s everything but cars,” said Simon Smock, logistics manager for QCSA Direct. “There are everything from scooters to 30-foot boats.”

The damage Sandy inflicted on the recreational boating industry was enormous. Boat Owners Association of The United States, BoatUS, estimated 65,000 recreational boats were damaged with a dollar value of $650 million, making it the largest industry loss since BoatUS started keeping track in 1966.

QCSA Direct came to New Jersey to help several insurance companies recover vehicles damaged by Sandy and take them to a temporary salvage yard at the airport, where they were inspected, Smock said.

The vehicles that could be repaired were. The rest, deemed total losses by insurance companies, will be sold off to dealers, some at initial offering prices as low as $5.

The vehicles are sold under a salvage certificate, Smock said. That means the vehicles can’t be put back on the road or water unless they have been reconstructed, he said.

Even then, the new title will denote the vehicle has been damaged so “nobody can be duped in the future,” Smock said.

But not all of the items sold at the online auctions will end up rebuilt. Some dealers buy the vehicles for parts or to recycle the materials, Smock said.

The auctions are open to dealers only, but QCSA Direct can put individuals in contact with brokers if they wanted to purchase items for sale, Smock said.

Auctions, online at www.qcsadirect.com, last about a week each and end on Wednesday. The auctions will continue for at least another month until all of the roughly 300 damaged vehicles that remain are sold, Smock said.

Source:   http://www.app.com

Dubai's First Classroom in the Sky

Al Khaleej National School students at the Seawings base in Dubai

Published: February 26, 2013

By Seawings LLC

DUBAI, UAE, February 26, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ --   Seawings, the UAE's luxury seaplane tour operator, organized Dubai's first-ever aerial educational tours on February 17, 2013. The 40 minute seaplane tours were part of its recently launched education program - Higher Learning. The programme was attended by over 50 students from the Al Khaleej National School at the Seawings base in Jebel Ali Beach Hotel.

Each flight was preceded by a 30 minute briefing designed by educators to provide the information necessary for students to derive the greatest educational benefit from the tour. 

 Students on the Seawings Education Programme gain a unique perspective on the history, development, architecture, economy and ecology of Dubai.

"It was a lot of fun. I never expected Dubai to look so different from the photographs and videos which we have seen in class. The best thing was I could sit next to the pilot," said Sahel who was among the first few students who took the flight.

The tour also provides an aerial perspective on the commercial, industrial and residential infrastructure located in the particular natural environment that defines Dubai.

"There is so much diversity within the landscape and Dubai's coastline. It is a very different experience for the students." said Peter Milne, an independent education consultant, who helped Seawings design the program.

The program has been carefully designed to ensure that the flight forms part of an overall educational experience that enhances some of the major international curriculums being offered in the UAE. The program is of most direct benefit to geography students, but can be beneficial to students of other subjects including the sciences, history and art & design.

"We are delighted to make the inspiration and insight that comes from a Seawings flight accessible to students in Dubai. We have specially designed this Program to combine curriculum relevant teaching with the thrill of a seaplane flight which will make for an unforgettable educational experience for each student." said Dr Nigel Rea, Chief Operating Officer of Seawings.

About Seawings

Established in 2007, Seawings LLC is the only seaplane tour operator in the UAE. Its fleet of three Cessna 208 Amphibious Seaplanes, offer passengers an inspiring and illuminating perspective on several of the UAE's remarkable skylines Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

A Seawings experience starts with a thrilling water takeoff after which the seaplane soars over a thousand feet over the memorable features of the city, both natural and man-made. A skillful landing back on the water marks the end of a flight that always lives long in the memory.

Education Program Details

• A 40 minute seaplane flight

• Introductory presentation including aims and objectives of the flight and the overall Programme. In addition, schools will be sent a detailed PowerPoint presentation with key information, maps and images of the main areas flown over.

• Program includes a pack of maps to enhance the use of GIS and pre-flight safety briefing.

For further information please contact

Shweta Pednekar Corporate Communications Seawings Telephone: +971-56-170-4601 Email: shweta@seawings.ae


Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com

Tehachapi Municipal Airport (KTSP), California: Council denies hotel appeal

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 12:01 AM
 By Ed Gordon, Tehachapi News 

The Tehachapi City Council held a public hearing denying local airport hanger owner Kenneth Hetge his appeal to halt the construction of a new hotel in Capital Hills.

The council made its decision at its Feb. 19 meeting despite hearing from nearly a dozen pilots who supported Hetge's appeal, citing various incidents of aircraft crashes in other locations and other airport landing and take off related issues.

"I've been a pilot all my life," said George Sandy, "I commend Mr. Hetge for doing his homework. He's a staunch supporter of aviation."

Hetge's latest appeal is a duplicate of the one he filed on Oct. 22 following the initial approval of a Motel 6 on Oct. 8. But the appeal was moot after the property owner withdrew the project.

Since then, motel developer Terry Delamater received approval from the Commission to build a new hotel called the Tehachapi Inn on the property.

The Planning Commission approved the revised version of a 72-room non-franchise hotel at its Jan. 14 meeting. As proposed, the motel would be a three-story, 25,319 square foot structure located north and adjacent to Capital Hills Parkway, east of Magellan Drive and west of Challenger Drive.

Hetge and others believe this area is too close to the protected flight path of aircraft arriving at and departing from the Tehachapi Airport.

The basis of Hetge's appeal is what he believes is a lack of compliance with the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan and guidelines set forth by the state of California Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics.

However, during the last Tuesday's hearing, Community Development Director David James presented a staff report pointing out the location of the proposed hotel was not only found to be compatible and consistent with the Airport Compatibility Plan, but also the underlying zoning designation, the general plan, the Capital Hills Specific Plan, the architectural design criteria, and the big box ordinance.

Hetge still disagrees, pointing out that one of the potential risks involved with locating the hotel at the proposed location involves the what is known as the "notch" -- an area just north of a straight out departure from the airport that pilots tend to fly over if headed toward the San Joaquin Valley.

"The hotel is in an area that is over flown at low altitudes by departing aircraft and is in a prime location for pilots needing an emergency landing site," Hetge said.

He then urged the city and its council to force the creation of a land use type commission to oversee the successful growth of the community in companionship with the airport.

But airport manager Tom Glasgow and city attorney Tom Schroeter both agreed that the city was not required to have such a commission.

Following a brief statement by council member Kim Nixon who said that while she appreciated Hetge's opinion she did not want to get caught up in scare tactics, the council voted 4-0 to adopt a resolution denying the appeal.

"We rely on a document developed by professionals, written and devised by professionals and includes the California airport planning guidelines," said Mayor Phil Smith. "The FAA has said its okay to put it there, Caltrans has said its okay to put it there, so I am inclined to say I am going with the specialists at the FAA and the people that created the document."

And although for now it appears the fight is over. Hetge doesn't seem ready to toss in the towel just yet.

"I think there been a huge injustice done to the community by misguided information provided by city staff that has swayed and convinced the City Council to make an appropriate decision," he said. "It ain't over till its over."

Story and Photo:   http://www.tehachapinews.com